The man, who worked as a salesman promoting health products to the elderly, traveled from his home province of Heilongjiang to neighboring Jilin province, bringing the virus with him.
Authorities claim that she inadvertently spread the virus among elderly residents for several days before it was tracked down as close contact to a case confirmed by health officials.
“The superspreader incident occurred mainly in our province because when the superspreader was discovered, it was still in its early stages of infection and had a relatively strong ability to shed the virus,” Zhao Qinglong, Jilin Provincial Disease Control and Prevention An official with the center told the state-run news agency Xinhua.
The apparent superseding incident occurred in Jilin as China struggles with its worst coronovirus outbreak in months, which has reported millions of cases under lockdown in its northern provinces and seen tens of millions of lives.
It also demonstrated the extent and speed of contact tracing and screening by Chinese health officials, who have played a key role in ending local outbreaks.
Detailed itinerary and privacy concerns
According to the Jilin Provincial Health Commission, the seller was diagnosed as confirming the Kovid-19 Sunday, initially identified as an asymptomatic carrier last Tuesday. China records asymptomatic infections separately from its official case count.
Over the four days, the man held four “health seminars,” or marketing sessions, at community health clubs targeting elderly residents in Jilin’s Gongjing and Tonghua cities.
All infected people were tracked down as close contacts to the man and placed under quarantine, before testing positive during therapy, Zhang said.
Although an effective tool for contact tracing, making detailed travel histories of coronavirus patients public has increased concerns about privacy in China.
Community health club under investigation
Jilin’s apparent superseding event has brought community health clubs under greater scrutiny from health experts and officials.
According to Xinhua, Jilin health officer Zhao said, “The infected people had gathered in an enclosed space for a long time.” “Most of them are middle-aged and elderly people with underlying health conditions and weak immunity, and are therefore susceptible to infection.”
So-called “health clubs” catering for the elderly are becoming increasingly common among residential communities in China, where marketing sessions, often branded as “health lectures,” are regularly used for health products such as supplements and physical Medical devices are organized for promotion.
According to Xinhua, unlike cinemas, restaurants, karaoke parlors and other commercial venues, these clubs often hide in residential buildings and are difficult for authorities to regulate.
Jilin officials are investigating whether the two health clubs in which the man held the promotion violated any rules, the provincial market supervision officer told the news conference.